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What happens if you are charged with DUI in Rhode Island but have a Massachusetts license?

It is important to understand the difference between Massachusetts and Rhode Island drunk driving laws. Rhode Island DUI law is vastly differently from Massachusetts law:

Differences Between RI and MA DUI Law

  1. Rhode Island will often dismiss a DUI case if a motorist accepts a plea to the refusal charge which is charged as a separate criminal offense. Rhode Island has a traffic court that hears breath test refusal matters. An individual charged with refusing a breath test has greater rights than in Massachusetts.

  2. Prosecutors in Rhode Island are more willing to reduce or dismiss a DUI charge.

  3. The Massachusetts RMV will generally not suspend your license if you are suspended based on the refusal; if the RMV discovers you are suspended in Rhode Island for the refusal, you will be suspended for the duration of the our-of-state suspension.

  4. If you accept a plea in Rhode Island on the DUI charge, Massachusetts will issue a suspension based on the drunk driving conviction. You will receive a letter from Massachusetts RMV stating your license will be suspended for one year. This is the maximum license suspension for a first offense OUI. Once you are reinstated in Rhode Island and complete the program, you can see a hearing officer and your suspension is likely to be reduced to 45 days, deemed served and your license restored on the payment of the five hundred dollar reinstatement fee.

When charged with DUI it is important to hire a lawyer who understand the license consequences in Massachusetts. For a Massachusetts license holder, avoiding a DUI conviction is the most important consideration.

If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 781-686-5924